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Key concepts
1) Fraternity
o A term, literally referring to `brotherhood', commonly used in socialism and suggesting that
members of the working class have a common bond that is as strong as a family link.
o Thus, all members of the working class are, effectively, brothers. All humans share…

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3) Social justice and welfare redistribution
o Social justice is a difficult concept as it is claimed as a virtue by most political movements.
o Marxists and revolutionary socialists insist that capitalism can never produce a just
distribution because the system contains inequality within its own mechanism.
o If we…

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o Democratic socialism ­ individual liberty to be preserved as long as it does not conflict with
socialist objectives.
o Social democracy ­ individual liberty and individualism are to be preserved and guaranteed
with almost no qualification.
o The charge that is most often levied by liberals against socialism is…

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o The term `communism' denotes the aim of destroying the existing class structure of society
and the institution of private property, thus transforming the economy.
o Communism was also profoundly internationalist. All states were viewed by communists as
the creatures of their own ruling class.
o There was an idea…

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o Introduction of divorce of ownership and control meant specialist managers were running
the companies instead.
o As the majority of the people were becoming middle class they would be less likely to
identify and support socialist principles.
o When socialist parties do now get into power it is now…

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o Social security benefits should be targeted at the most needy to ensure a decent standard of
living for all, and at those who are working/seeking work/unable to work.
o The Third Way was a term coined by Anthony Giddens and refers to New Labour policies
after 1992 that steered…

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o Socialists are more optimistic that every individual is capable of becoming equal as long as
he/she has equality of opportunity and society is organised on a just basis.
o However in the mildest form of socialism ­ New Labour ­ it is questionable whether there is
much of a…

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who see the centralized state as the ultimate vehicle for, and expression of, all socialist ideals and
Marxist view ­ The old bourgeois state had to be removed and replaced by a workers' state, a phase
known as the `dictatorship of the proletariat'. The role of this socialist state…

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Some socialists have claimed that common ownership of property is a Christian principle, pointing
out Christ's insistence that his followers pool their resources and share them out equally. Many
movements throughout history have demanded the seizure of land and its transfer to a communal
system of production.
It was the…

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In France, Auguste Blanqui formed a small socialist party of conspirators, which he hoped would
bring down the capitalist state and replace it with a permanent worker's government. This
movement was remarkably unsuccessful.
In practice the most successful revolutionary socialists have been inspired by Marxism. Fidel Castro
was not strictly…


Old Sir


This is a really useful survey of the roots of socialism and its development in various guises. Students looking to develop discussion around the nature of socialism might find this very useful, especially in conjunction with its impact upon competing political parties and their ideals.

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